NBC is in talks with Fremantle Media to resurrect American Idol, Variety reports!
Yeah. I know it sounds incredible. But I have personally heard a variation of this rumor from a reliable source. I heard the show would come back to FOX–that FOX had planned to give American Idol a rest, not cancel it outright. But apparently Fremantle has been shopping the show around aggressively.
According to sources with knowledge of the discussions, NBC has been pitched a revival of the long-running singing competition by producer Fremantle and is now mulling options for how to integrate the show into its programming slate. One possibility being considered: cutting NBC’s existing singing competition “The Voice” from two cycles a year to one.
Fremantle has been shopping an “Idol” revival in recent weeks, with NBC emerging as the leading candidate to become the new home of the long-running singing-competition series. Sources emphasize that talks are ongoing, and no deal is yet in place.
NBC though. I am surprised. Are they losing faith in The Voice brand? Why would the network overload their schedule with singing shows? When FOX tried a split schedule with American Idol and The X Factor in 2011, it diluted the audience for both shows. NBC also has Jennifer Lopez’s World of Dance and Simon Cowell’s summer show America’s Got Talent on the schedule as well.
I heard that American Idol’s return to television has been in the works for awhile. Maybe FOX isn’t completely out of the picture. We shall see.
ETA: NBC already has contracts with Simon Cowell (AGT) and Jennifer Lopez (World of Dance, Shades of Blue, Bye Bye Birdie). Could an already established relationship with NBC bring them back as judges to the show? I could even imagine Simon being given a production credit to entice him to return.
Deadline reports that NBC is worried about The Voice “ratings erosion” and has been looking for a way to cut the show back to once a year. But again–does NBC solve The Voice ratings problems by filling up the schedule with more singing shows? Also, is it just too soon to bring back Idol? Apparently, according to Deadline, FOX thought it was too soon, especially after that massive, nostalgic farewell season in 2016.
Remember, when Ryan Seacrest signed off that final season, he hinted at Idol’s eventual return. “Goodbye…for now,” he said mysteriously. Creator Simon Fuller made it clear he wanted to bring it back sooner rather than later. That was before he tangled with Idol owners Core Media, leading to his ouster. Fuller even joked about Idol returning in 2018 as he accepted the Emmy Governor’s award last September…